Storage forum


*Thought* I'd saved my files, but...

I'm very confused on how to properly use my WD Passport external drive, but I Really need to save my music & photos. When I 1st got my Passport, I installed it & everything indicated to me that my files were being saved. I saw the file numbers growing, so I assumed all was well. I can't find a single one now.

But before I do anything, is there a way to tell if they're "hidden" somewhere on the drive?

Can someone please walk me through the process step by step? I'd hate to lose All my files.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: *Thought* I'd saved my files, but...
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: *Thought* I'd saved my files, but...
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
Re: files

In reply to: *Thought* I'd saved my files, but...

1. You saw the 'file numbers' growing. And now they are 0 again? Or are they still high but you can't find the files?

2. How did you 'save' that photo's? For example:
(1) File>Save to that external disk in your photo editing program?
(2) Copy/paste from a file on your internal hard disk to that external disk?
(3) Windows backup?
(4) Proprietary WD copy/backup/synchronise program?
Only (1) can be called 'saving'. All others are copying and you'd still have the original on your internal hard disk.

3. What happened to your backup of those files you don't want to lose?


Collapse -
Further pointers on copying files across

In reply to: Re: files

I'm not normally one to "big up" Microsoft programs but once you establish where your files are etc going forward it may be useful to download SyncToy. It's simple to set up and easy to use and it will copy across your files from your PC to you external disc for you. You just specify which folder(s) on your PC you want to copy and which folder you want to copy them to and that's it. I've left my SyncToy in my start up folder so that every time I boot up the PC it serves as a reminder to run it. Every few days or even each week I can click run and it copies all my Music, Docs etc so that if ever the PC goes pear shaped I know that I have a recent copy of all my folders and files on my external hard disc.

I'm sure however the more techie minded peeps on here will be able to help you out though with where your files might be ^_^


Collapse -
Have you checked the external drive?

In reply to: *Thought* I'd saved my files, but...

I'll say upfront, I've never used the WD backup software or Seagate for that matter, I prefer to know what I'm doing!

I also assume you have never disconnected your external drive incorrectly - you must always either use the eject tool in Windows AND wait for the Safe to Disconnect message or, if Windows thinks the drive is in use, shutdown Windows. Just unplugging the drive without using these methods can leave buffered data not written back to the drive and if this happens to be a control table, your files disappear.

Also some disk partition management tools can destroy data - one such is Partition Magic, which will wipe an NTFS-Extended partition if you attempt to move it. But from your question, I don't expect you use such tools.

I'll take your request at face value, if this is over simplistic, I apologise.

First thing to do is open Windows Explorer, or File Explorer if you are unlucky enough to have Windows 8! Then in the left column, look in the Computer section (you may need to click the arrow to expand it). That will show all the disks Windows knows about. You will obviously have your system drive and any other drives inside the physical machine. At the end, you will see the removable external drive or drives. If there are more than one and this is the only thing you have plugged in, then the external drive is partitioned, if there is only one, it isn't.

Now for each of those removable drives, right click and in the menus that shows up, click Properties. This will tell you how many folders and how many files are on the drive. If they are all zero, then nothing got saved - or the drive got corrupted. But if there are folders, click the arrow to the right of the drive letter and left click on each of the folders in turn - you should see any files that exist on the drive.

If you still can't find any files, you probably need to look at the drive with something like Gparted from a Linux live CD or from the bootable version (free download) of Partition Wizard - NOTE - NOT PARTITION MAGIC! I would guess from your question that these tools may be a little outside your level of expertise, in which case, I advise seeking help form a more knowledgeable friend or colleague. These tools can be very dangerous!

If the disk has been corrupted by incorrect removal, it may be possible to recover the files with a Linux live CD (it's rather more forgiving than Windows) or to repair the disk with one of the disk doctor tools available - again, I would advise you to seek help if you go down this path.

Good luck!

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Enter to win* a free holiday tech gift!

CNET's giving five lucky winners the gift of their choice valued up to $250!